People from across Staffordshire are being urged to support a campaign to help reduce the number of suicides in the county.
The #TalkSuicide campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue and to make it easier for people to talk about it.
Sadly 10 lives are lost to suicide each month across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, equating to around 2,000 years of life being prematurely lost every year. The highest suicide rate in the area is amongst men in their 40’s and 50’s.
The next phase of the campaign is being launched to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day on Friday 10th September.
Dr Johnny McMahon, Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care at Staffordshire County Council said: “Through the next phase of our campaign we hope to make more people aware that talking about suicide doesn’t make it more likely to happen. In fact, talking and listening can help prevent suicide.
“The reasons for suicide can be complex and brought on by many different issues or worries and as we know, when it happens it has a devastating effect on families and local communities. Many people are concerned that asking someone if they are feeling suicidal, can put the idea in their head. We want people to know that raising the issue does not increase the risk. It’s okay to ask the question, as it could be the first step in helping someone on their road to recovery.
“Supporting World Suicide Prevention Day gives us a good opportunity to remind people that they really can make a difference and help to save lives, and just as importantly, remind anybody who is struggling that it’s okay to ask for help.”
The #TalkSuicide campaign is one of a number of projects funded by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, aiming to bring communities together to encourage people to talk about suicide. People can find out more about the campaign at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/talksuicide.
Support is available for anyone who is worried about their own, or someone else’s mental health:
North Staffordshire urgent mental health helpline: 0800 0 328 728 option 1 (covers Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs Moorlands)
South Staffordshire urgent mental health helpline: 0808 196 3002 (covers Stafford, Stone, Rugeley, Cannock, South Staffs, Lichfield, Burton, Uttoxeter, Tamworth)
Samaritans: call 116 123 confidential crisis support helpline, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Brighter Futures helpline Call: 0808 800 2234. Text: 0786 002 2821. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a safe place to talk for people who are worried, stressed or low, or if they’re concerned about someone else.